Today's Labor History
Click here to check out this week's Labor History Today podcast. On this week’s show: Heidi Thomas on the history of rodeo women; Frances Perkins’ labor landmarks; Common revisits MLK’s "I Have A Dream" speech; labor and civil rights activists unite to desegregate Glen Echo Amusement Park.
Delegates from several East Coast cities meet in convention to form the National Trades' Union, uniting craft unions to oppose "the most unequal and unjustifiable distribution of the wealth of society in the hands of a few individuals." The union faded after a few years - 1834
John Reed forms the Communist Labor Party in Chicago. The Party’s motto: "Workers of the world unite!" - 1919
10,000 striking miners began a fight at Blair Mountain, W.Va., for recognition of their union, the UMWA. Federal troops were sent in, and miners were forced to withdraw 5 days later, after 16 deaths - 1921
The Trade Union Unity League is founded as an alternative to the American Federation of Labor, with the goal of organizing along industrial rather than craft lines. An arm of the American Communist Party, the League claimed 125,000 members before it dissolved in the late 1930s - 1929
Solidarity workers movement founded as a strike coordination committee at Lenin Shipyards, Gdansk, Poland. The strike launched a wave of unrest in the Soviet Union that ultimately led to its dissolution in 1991 - 1980
325,000 unionists gathered in Washington, D.C. for a Solidarity Day march and rally for workplace fairness and healthcare reform - 1991
Detroit teachers begin what is to become a nine day strike, winning smaller class sizes and raises of up to four percent - 1999
Congress declares Labor Day a national holiday - 1894
30,000 women from 26 trades marched in Chicago's Labor Day parade - 1903
The AFL-CIO creates Working America, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization designed to build alliances among non-union working people - 2003
Mineowners bomb West Virginia strikers by plane, using homemade bombs filled with nails and metal fragments. The bombs missed their targets or failed to explode - 1921
President Eisenhower signs legislation expanding Social Security by providing much wider coverage and including 10 million additional Americans, most of them self-employed farmers, with additional benefits - 1954
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